A half-a-million pound project is set to shut a village high street to traffic for five months.
The £550,000 scheme to replace an unreliable water main through the middle of Alfriston will lead to the closure of the village High Street and North Street from January until June next year.
The project, to be carried out by South East Water, comes after a series of high-profile bursts on the existing drinking water supply pipeline have left historic properties flooded and people with either no water or low pressure.
Jeremy Dufour, South East Water customer liaison manager, said, “We know roadworks of this kind cause inconvenience in the short term but the long term benefit of this work will be felt by the community for many decades to come.
“We shall endeavour to minimise the impact by getting this project completed as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The company has arranged a public drop-in session between 7 and 9pm on October 29 at Alfriston War Memorial Hall, where local people will have the chance to meet the South East Water project team and contractors.
Mr Dufour said, “Given Alfriston is a major tourist destination we are working closely with East Sussex County Council and Alfriston Parish Council, shopkeepers, business owners and local people to try to minimise the impact of the road closure by looking to undertake the majority of this project at the quietest time of year at the start of 2020.
“Although a 600-metre section of the High Street and North Street will be affected and closed to through traffic, we will operate a rolling road closure meaning the work will be undertaken in one short section before we reinstate the area and then move to the next section.
“This means local people will still be able to gain access to the shops, pubs, restaurants and all other businesses throughout the work, which we plan to complete within five months.”
South East Water say they will stage a major publicity drive to alert motorists and lorry drivers from outside the local area to the road closure using electronic road signs, newspaper and radio advertisements, leaflets and posters.
In particular, South East Water say they will target foreign lorry drivers on the Newhaven ferries who use Alfriston as a through route to and from the A27.